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Indian-origin man to do community service in New Zealand

Wellington: A court in New Zealand has sentenced an Indian-origin man to 125 hours of community service after he was found guilty of causing a fatal accident, a media report said.

The Napier district court in North Island handed down the sentence to Sandeep Kumar, 34, for falling asleep at the wheel before the vehicle carrying seven members of his family plunged off a 10-metre cliff in Hawke’s Bay area in January 2014, reported on Thursday.

Sandeep Kumar’s sister-in-law and two nieces were seriously injured, while his brother was critically injured. Sandeep Kumar and two friends received minor injuries in the accident.

The man was charged with seven charges of careless driving causing injury.

Judge Geoff Rea said the accident, which had had “catastrophic consequences” on Sandeep Kumar and his family, was due to him not having adequate sleep before he drove.

“How somebody did not die as a result of this accident is a complete miracle,” the judge said.

As well as imposing the community work sentence, Judge Rea disqualified Sandeep Kumar from driving for 12 months.